Carbon/PTFE Electrode for Lithium/Air-Water Batteries

Report No. ARL-TR-4066
Authors: Benjamin Margulies, Jeffrey Read
Date/Pages: March 2007; 18 pages
Abstract: For this project we constructed an inexpensive air cathode free of catalyst, capable of functioning in both acidic and neutral electrolytes, for use in a lithium/air-water battery. The use of acidic electrolyte is necessitated by the formation of the discharge product LiOH from the lithium/air-water reaction. We present a procedure for the construction of a carbon/PTFE air cathode for use with both acidic and neutral electrolytes. We evaluated the performance of the cathode in electrolytes ranging from pH=0 to pH=8 by applying voltage to a half cell, in reference to a Ag/AgCl reference electrode, and then measuring the steady state current. Current densities were found to be the highest in 1M H2SO4, the most acidic electrolyte tested, and decreased as the pH of the electrolyte increased. The cathode performed well enough over the entire pH range to be useful for the lithium/air-water battery.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2007